The Illumination Paradox 1
By Jacqueline E. Garlick
Number of Pages: 400
Date Started: January 29, 2017
Date Finished: February 2, 2017
Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth has only one hope left: finding her late father’s most prized invention, the Illuminator. It’s been missing since the day of the mysterious flash—a day that saw the sun wiped out forever over England.
But living in darkness is nothing new to Eyelet. She’s hidden her secret affliction all of her life—a life that would be in danger if superstitious townspeople ever guessed the truth. And after her mother is accused and executed for a crime that she didn’t commit, the now-orphaned Eyelet has no choice but to track down the machine that was created with the sole purpose of being her cure.
I’m uncertain how long I’ve had this novel before I finally decided to give it a try. The beginning was hard, difficult to get into. Although I suppose it could be seen as corky, it took me quite a while to get used to the name “Eyelet”. While it was likely to set the mood and time period, I found myself spending a portion of the first section wishing, in some ways, that the author had gone with Violet instead, or had explained the name in some way. Perhaps the most jarring was the thought that Eyelet having the ailment she does would make her a prim candidate for an asylum or even death.
I found part one rather jarring as we went between the new vocabulary of setting the steampunk scene, learning the land, and trying to figure out the science and balance the magic as well– with Valkyries being mentioned lightly in passing. After catastrophe struck the story became a bit easier to follow, and I became more and more intrigued.
While reading several other stories were called to mind: The Birthmark, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Beauty and the Beast were the most prominent. Though they may have helped shape the novel, that was in no way a negative thing, and the further I read the more I appreciated the story on its own merits. Eyelet is a wonderful protagonist, and while she does have a reason to be afraid beyond being a female, she doesn’t let anything or anyone stop her, and she won’t let anyone tell her what she can’t do because she’s a girl.
I am intrigued, and have already purchased the second book to start on once I’ve finished this review.
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Jacqueline Garlick is the author of the immensely popular, young adult, steampunk/fantasy series THE ILLUMINATION PARADOX, as well the IF ONLY series, a contemporary, coming of age, romantic mystery. She is also the author of a variety of women’s classic romances including the highly anticipated, upcoming HEARTMENDER’S SOCIETY.
Jacqueline loves strong heroines, despises whiny sidekicks and adores a good story about a triumphant underdog. (But then again, doesn’t everyone?) She has an on-going love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology. Jacqueline has been a teacher, professional speaker, and environmental activist, but much prefers her current role as mild manner novelist. To find out more about Jacqueline and to be the first to learn of her upcoming releases, book-related giveaways, and other cool contests and events, sign up for Jacqueline’s NEWSLETTER via jacquelinegarlick.com, to join Jacqueline’s elite Reader’s Group and receive an exclusive FREE READ.
twitter @garlick books